A Travellerspoint blog

June 2022

Xel-Ha, near Tulum, expensive and not as good as it once was

I first visited Xel-Ha with Bobby Ibarra in 1990; I've visited several times since but the snorkeling now offers little to see in the way of marine life; the lighthouse, 131 ft high, did have great views but the waterslide was super slow going down

I first visited Xel-Ha with Bobby Ibarra in 1990; I've visited several times since but the snorkeling now offers little to see in the way of marine life; the lighthouse, 131 ft high, did have great views but the waterslide was super slow going down

Xel-Ha is now owned by Xcaret, a neighboring attraction, that seems to own most of the big tourist draws in the area; their advertising is hard to miss as these attractions are obviously making lots of money while offering a Disney-like experience

Xel-Ha is now owned by Xcaret, a neighboring attraction, that seems to own most of the big tourist draws in the area; their advertising is hard to miss as these attractions are obviously making lots of money while offering a Disney-like experience

Yucatan jays, common and endemic to the Yucatan peninsula, are usually found in groups of 5-25 birds, often chattering noisily; the bill is black on adult birds, yellow on juveniles and 1st-year birds

Yucatan jays, common and endemic to the Yucatan peninsula, are usually found in groups of 5-25 birds, often chattering noisily; the bill is black on adult birds, yellow on juveniles and 1st-year birds

Xel-Ha admission now runs $100 with lots of optional extras (that we didn't buy); food and drinks were included so Lee enjoyed a nice lunch but, in hindsight, we would have been better off taking a boat out to the reef off Tulum to snorkel

Xel-Ha admission now runs $100 with lots of optional extras (that we didn't buy); food and drinks were included so Lee enjoyed a nice lunch but, in hindsight, we would have been better off taking a boat out to the reef off Tulum to snorkel

Florida set a record of 1000  manatee deaths in 2021 as their primary feeding ground, the Indian River Lagoon, has lost an estimated 58% of its seagrasses over the last 11 years; you could pay $80 to swim with the well-fed manatees here

Florida set a record of 1000+ manatee deaths in 2021 as their primary feeding ground, the Indian River Lagoon, has lost an estimated 58% of its seagrasses over the last 11 years; you could pay $80 to swim with the well-fed manatees here

We were very impressed with the trained dolphins and the show they put on but preferred to watch others interact with them rather than pay the $160 each ourselves

We were very impressed with the trained dolphins and the show they put on but preferred to watch others interact with them rather than pay the $160 each ourselves

Mexican spinytail iguanas are very common with the ones at Xel-Ha spoiled by food tourists drop; considered the squirrels of Mexico, the world record sprint speed for lizards (21.5 miles/h) is owned by a spinytail iguana

Mexican spinytail iguanas are very common with the ones at Xel-Ha spoiled by food tourists drop; considered the squirrels of Mexico, the world record sprint speed for lizards (21.5 miles/h) is owned by a spinytail iguana

Xcaret Group has revenues of roughly $230 million annually with plans to add 5 more hotels and another feature attraction next year; the highway from Cancun was very congested, in poor repair and still has lots of stoplights

Xcaret Group has revenues of roughly $230 million annually with plans to add 5 more hotels and another feature attraction next year; the highway from Cancun was very congested, in poor repair and still has lots of stoplights

In 2009 Xel-Há, located 8 mi N of Tulum, was the first park in the world to achieve the most important sustainability certification in the tourist industry; the park releases an annual average of 97,000 specimens of turtle hatchlings on the beaches of Xel-Há

In 2009 Xel-Há, located 8 mi N of Tulum, was the first park in the world to achieve the most important sustainability certification in the tourist industry; the park releases an annual average of 97,000 specimens of turtle hatchlings on the beaches of Xel-Há

Great kiskadees, found from southern Texas to Argentina, are a common, but noisy, bird in urban areas where they are monogamous and territorial; like many members of the flycatcher family, the great kiskadee can catch insects in mid-air or on the ground

Great kiskadees, found from southern Texas to Argentina, are a common, but noisy, bird in urban areas where they are monogamous and territorial; like many members of the flycatcher family, the great kiskadee can catch insects in mid-air or on the ground

Trepachanga, one of the more fun areas of the park, features a challenging series of adventures set above the water; I opted to float by in my inner tube which required serious paddling since there was virtually no current

Trepachanga, one of the more fun areas of the park, features a challenging series of adventures set above the water; I opted to float by in my inner tube which required serious paddling since there was virtually no current

Scarlet macaws typically live 40-50 years but, in captivity, some have lived 90  years; their population is centered around the Amazon basin with scattered pockets throughout Central America and Mexico (though not the Yucatan)

Scarlet macaws typically live 40-50 years but, in captivity, some have lived 90+ years; their population is centered around the Amazon basin with scattered pockets throughout Central America and Mexico (though not the Yucatan)

No one seemed to pay much attention to waterspouts forming off the coast; after Xel-Ha, Lee and I made a quick stop to see the beach in Tulum and were shocked at the development, traffic congestion and packed beaches there

No one seemed to pay much attention to waterspouts forming off the coast; after Xel-Ha, Lee and I made a quick stop to see the beach in Tulum and were shocked at the development, traffic congestion and packed beaches there

The black-bellied whistling duck is quite unique among ducks in their strong monogamous pair-bond; population of the ducks has increased substantially since the 1950s, partly due to nest boxes which protect their eggs from predators

The black-bellied whistling duck is quite unique among ducks in their strong monogamous pair-bond; population of the ducks has increased substantially since the 1950s, partly due to nest boxes which protect their eggs from predators

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:47 Comments (0)

Great collection at Harvard Art Museums shines, pt 2

Three Pairs of Shoes, Vincent van Gogh, 1886-87; the museum building looks quite bland from the outside but inside is a tremendous art collection with hundreds of masterpieces that I just loved

Three Pairs of Shoes, Vincent van Gogh, 1886-87; the museum building looks quite bland from the outside but inside is a tremendous art collection with hundreds of masterpieces that I just loved

Mardi Gras on the Boulevards, Camille Pissarro, 1897; known for his rural landscapes, Pissarro turned his eye to Paris only in the 1890s, during what was to be the last decade in his long career

Mardi Gras on the Boulevards, Camille Pissarro, 1897; known for his rural landscapes, Pissarro turned his eye to Paris only in the 1890s, during what was to be the last decade in his long career

The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train, Claude Monet, 1877; this is the largest in Monet's series of 12 paintings of this Paris train station, a subject favored by Impressionist artists

The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train, Claude Monet, 1877; this is the largest in Monet's series of 12 paintings of this Paris train station, a subject favored by Impressionist artists

Young Girl Wearing a Large Hat, Pablo Picasso, 1901; Picasso was 19 when he completed this work, in the style of late 19th century French artists; this piece is double-sided with the back side (viewed as inferior) more in the style of the future Picasso

Young Girl Wearing a Large Hat, Pablo Picasso, 1901; Picasso was 19 when he completed this work, in the style of late 19th century French artists; this piece is double-sided with the back side (viewed as inferior) more in the style of the future Picasso

Gabrielle Rennard, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1908; by 1908, Rennard had been employed by Renoir's household for 14 yrs as a nanny, housekeeper, model (he painted her in 200  works) and companion for the aging artist

Gabrielle Rennard, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1908; by 1908, Rennard had been employed by Renoir's household for 14 yrs as a nanny, housekeeper, model (he painted her in 200+ works) and companion for the aging artist

Still Life with Commode, Paul Cezanne, c. 1887-88; of the many still lifes Cezanne painted, he only repeated the same composition twice; this work is a cropped variation of a piece in Munich

Still Life with Commode, Paul Cezanne, c. 1887-88; of the many still lifes Cezanne painted, he only repeated the same composition twice; this work is a cropped variation of a piece in Munich

Hydrangeas, Georges Pierre Seurat, c. 1878-79; this is the only still life Seurat is known to have painted, and it is a rare surviving example of his early work (Seurat destroyed most of his early canvases)

Hydrangeas, Georges Pierre Seurat, c. 1878-79; this is the only still life Seurat is known to have painted, and it is a rare surviving example of his early work (Seurat destroyed most of his early canvases)

The Banks of the Oise, Henri Rousseau, c. 1907; though often derided by critics of the period as amateurish, Rousseau paints in a unique style that is both awkward and elegant; he was celebrated by younger avant-garde artists, including Picasso

The Banks of the Oise, Henri Rousseau, c. 1907; though often derided by critics of the period as amateurish, Rousseau paints in a unique style that is both awkward and elegant; he was celebrated by younger avant-garde artists, including Picasso

The Miracle of the Sacred Fire, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, William Holman Hunt, 1892-99; Hunt visited Jerusalem and found this annual event to be heretical and distasteful, but was keen to capture its dramatic, historic and picturesque qualities

The Miracle of the Sacred Fire, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, William Holman Hunt, 1892-99; Hunt visited Jerusalem and found this annual event to be heretical and distasteful, but was keen to capture its dramatic, historic and picturesque qualities

Gloucester Harbor at Sunset, Fitz Henry Lane, late 1850s; Lane's maritime scenes are among the most enigmatic paintings in the history of American art; nothing, not even traces of the artist's labors, destroys the serenity of this scene

Gloucester Harbor at Sunset, Fitz Henry Lane, late 1850s; Lane's maritime scenes are among the most enigmatic paintings in the history of American art; nothing, not even traces of the artist's labors, destroys the serenity of this scene

Still Life with Bric-a-Brac, William Michael Harnett, 1878; famous for trompe l'oeil paintings, Harnett was among the most technically skilled artists of 19th century America; elements here show the influence of the Philadelphia World's Fair held in 1876

Still Life with Bric-a-Brac, William Michael Harnett, 1878; famous for trompe l'oeil paintings, Harnett was among the most technically skilled artists of 19th century America; elements here show the influence of the Philadelphia World's Fair held in 1876

The Message, Edward Lamson Henry, 1893; the artist traveled the American South in the decades after the Civil War specializing in depictions of rural life but avoiding the realities of racism in the Jim Crow South

The Message, Edward Lamson Henry, 1893; the artist traveled the American South in the decades after the Civil War specializing in depictions of rural life but avoiding the realities of racism in the Jim Crow South

Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, Thomas Moran, 1865; this saloon served as an important Civil War-era depot as soldiers left Philadelphia; the work's lengthy inscription details its intended function as a memorial

Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, Thomas Moran, 1865; this saloon served as an important Civil War-era depot as soldiers left Philadelphia; the work's lengthy inscription details its intended function as a memorial

The Pre-Arranged Flight, Jean-Honore Fragonard, c. 1772-73; Fragonard's best known work, The Swing, is in the Wallace Collection in London and is considered a masterpiece of the Rococo period

The Pre-Arranged Flight, Jean-Honore Fragonard, c. 1772-73; Fragonard's best known work, The Swing, is in the Wallace Collection in London and is considered a masterpiece of the Rococo period

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Canaletto, c. 1730-34; among Canaletto's most important patrons were English aristocrats who visited Venice on Grand Tours; this painting was bought by the fourth Duke of Leeds in 1734

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Canaletto, c. 1730-34; among Canaletto's most important patrons were English aristocrats who visited Venice on Grand Tours; this painting was bought by the fourth Duke of Leeds in 1734

Still Life with Watermelon, Sarah Miriam Peale and Raphaelle Peale, 1822; Sarah Miriam Peale was one of the first professional female artists in the US; 10  members of the Peale family were highly regarded artists

Still Life with Watermelon, Sarah Miriam Peale and Raphaelle Peale, 1822; Sarah Miriam Peale was one of the first professional female artists in the US; 10+ members of the Peale family were highly regarded artists

The Rehearsal, Edgar Degas, c. 1873-78; this is one of Degas' earliest paintings of dancers, a subject he depicted in many media over the course of his career; one of his early masterpieces, The Bellelli Family, is at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris

The Rehearsal, Edgar Degas, c. 1873-78; this is one of Degas' earliest paintings of dancers, a subject he depicted in many media over the course of his career; one of his early masterpieces, The Bellelli Family, is at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris

John Adams, John Singleton Copley, 1783; painted in London soon after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, this grand portrait celebrates Adams's role in securing American independence

John Adams, John Singleton Copley, 1783; painted in London soon after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, this grand portrait celebrates Adams's role in securing American independence

The true marvel of this Long Case Musical Clock (c. 1750-55) by Otto van Meurs is its music; to mark the hour, a set of 10 carillon bells powered by an internal gear train sounds one of eight popular tunes

The true marvel of this Long Case Musical Clock (c. 1750-55) by Otto van Meurs is its music; to mark the hour, a set of 10 carillon bells powered by an internal gear train sounds one of eight popular tunes

This is the only clay model of Saint Jerome (c. 1660) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini to have survived; the Harvard Art Museum houses the world's largest collection of clay models by Bernini, the most celebrated sculptor of the Baroque period

This is the only clay model of Saint Jerome (c. 1660) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini to have survived; the Harvard Art Museum houses the world's largest collection of clay models by Bernini, the most celebrated sculptor of the Baroque period

Mystic Crucifixion, Sandra Botticelli, c. 1500; the 1400s saw loosening social mores and rampant church corruption so firebrand preachers started warning that Judgment Day was imminent and that Florence would be punished for its sins

Mystic Crucifixion, Sandra Botticelli, c. 1500; the 1400s saw loosening social mores and rampant church corruption so firebrand preachers started warning that Judgment Day was imminent and that Florence would be punished for its sins

Posted by VagabondCowboy 06:18 Comments (0)

Cincinnati Zoo among best zoos in the country

In 2017, the Zoo had its first birth of a hippopotamus in 75 years; named Fiona, she was born six weeks prematurely and weighed only 29 pounds, which was 25 pounds less than the lowest recorded birthweight for her species (Fiona now weighs 1600 lbs)

In 2017, the Zoo had its first birth of a hippopotamus in 75 years; named Fiona, she was born six weeks prematurely and weighed only 29 pounds, which was 25 pounds less than the lowest recorded birthweight for her species (Fiona now weighs 1600 lbs)

Asia's largest land mammal stands around 10 feet tall and can live around 55 years; more than 100,000 muscles of the face, nose and upper lip combine to form the elephant's trunk

Asia's largest land mammal stands around 10 feet tall and can live around 55 years; more than 100,000 muscles of the face, nose and upper lip combine to form the elephant's trunk

Thomson's gazelles number fewer than 200,000 in the wild with their numbers declining more than 65% in the last 30 years as ranchers encroach on their habitat; these gazelles can run 70 km/hr (but lions run 80 km/hr and cheetahs 120 km/hr)

Thomson's gazelles number fewer than 200,000 in the wild with their numbers declining more than 65% in the last 30 years as ranchers encroach on their habitat; these gazelles can run 70 km/hr (but lions run 80 km/hr and cheetahs 120 km/hr)

The East African crowned crane stands about 3.5 feet tall and can live 25 years in captivity; admission to the Zoo was $23 with another $10 to park and with very cold weather keeping many animals out of view it wasn't the best bargain

The East African crowned crane stands about 3.5 feet tall and can live 25 years in captivity; admission to the Zoo was $23 with another $10 to park and with very cold weather keeping many animals out of view it wasn't the best bargain

Although it acts like a prairie dog (which is a rodent), this is a meerkat which is a carnivourous member of the mongoose family; native to the deserts and grasslands of SW Africa, meerkats weigh less than a kilogram (about the same as a squirrel)

Although it acts like a prairie dog (which is a rodent), this is a meerkat which is a carnivourous member of the mongoose family; native to the deserts and grasslands of SW Africa, meerkats weigh less than a kilogram (about the same as a squirrel)

Mexican wolves are the smallest and most endangered subspecies of the North American gray wolf; the species was totally exterminated from the wild by 1980 but zoos have been breeding the animals and releasing them into their native range in Arizona and NM

Mexican wolves are the smallest and most endangered subspecies of the North American gray wolf; the species was totally exterminated from the wild by 1980 but zoos have been breeding the animals and releasing them into their native range in Arizona and NM

The endangered Coquerel's sifaka is a type of lemur native to NW Madagascar that uses its strong legs to jump from tree to tree; in popular culture, it is known for being the species of the title character in the children's TV show Zoboomafoo

The endangered Coquerel's sifaka is a type of lemur native to NW Madagascar that uses its strong legs to jump from tree to tree; in popular culture, it is known for being the species of the title character in the children's TV show Zoboomafoo

Manatee Springs was added to the Zoo in 1999 with dozens of births here since then; manatees are increasingly endangered in the wild due to destruction of their primary food source with 2021 having the highest recorded number of manatee deaths

Manatee Springs was added to the Zoo in 1999 with dozens of births here since then; manatees are increasingly endangered in the wild due to destruction of their primary food source with 2021 having the highest recorded number of manatee deaths

Found in wetlands of the SE US, the greater siren is a primitive salamander that spends most of its time buried in sand or mud, only coming out at night to eat; the Zoo’s Reptile House is the oldest existing zoo building in the country, dating from 1875

Found in wetlands of the SE US, the greater siren is a primitive salamander that spends most of its time buried in sand or mud, only coming out at night to eat; the Zoo’s Reptile House is the oldest existing zoo building in the country, dating from 1875

Despite weighing up to 132 lbs, impalas can leap 10 ft high and 35  ft in a single bound; a 2019 reader's choice ranking of the top zoos by USA Today named the Cincinnati Zoo the best in North America (I would vote for the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park)

Despite weighing up to 132 lbs, impalas can leap 10 ft high and 35+ ft in a single bound; a 2019 reader's choice ranking of the top zoos by USA Today named the Cincinnati Zoo the best in North America (I would vote for the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park)

I was lucky to see packs of endangered African painted dogs at Kruger National Park in South Africa; the Zoo is known for being the home of Martha, the last living passenger pigeon, and to Incas, the last living Carolina parakeet, both species now extinct

I was lucky to see packs of endangered African painted dogs at Kruger National Park in South Africa; the Zoo is known for being the home of Martha, the last living passenger pigeon, and to Incas, the last living Carolina parakeet, both species now extinct

Ostriches are the world's tallest (up to 9 feet) and heaviest (up to 287 lbs) birds but also the fastest land bird (more than 40 mph); Cincinnati is home to the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US, called Zinzinnati

Ostriches are the world's tallest (up to 9 feet) and heaviest (up to 287 lbs) birds but also the fastest land bird (more than 40 mph); Cincinnati is home to the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US, called Zinzinnati

The Zoo is part of a program to enable tribes in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya to peacefully co-exist with lions; for example, lions have been fitted with GPS collars so that tribesmen know where to safely graze their herds away from prides of lions

The Zoo is part of a program to enable tribes in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya to peacefully co-exist with lions; for example, lions have been fitted with GPS collars so that tribesmen know where to safely graze their herds away from prides of lions

Red-crowned cranes are best known for their elaborate mating rituals which involve bowing, head-bobbing and leaping; the cranes mate for life and stay together year-round; native to East Asia, they stand about 5 feet tall and can live 25  years

Red-crowned cranes are best known for their elaborate mating rituals which involve bowing, head-bobbing and leaping; the cranes mate for life and stay together year-round; native to East Asia, they stand about 5 feet tall and can live 25+ years

Maasai giraffes, from southern Kenya and Tanzania, can be more than 17 feet tall; the Cincinnati Zoo was founded in 1873 making it the second oldest zoo in the country (Philadelphia has the oldest)

Maasai giraffes, from southern Kenya and Tanzania, can be more than 17 feet tall; the Cincinnati Zoo was founded in 1873 making it the second oldest zoo in the country (Philadelphia has the oldest)

White-handed gibbons are among the fastest of all primates; they are so fast that they barely touch a branch before swinging off and grabbing the next branch, and they 'fly' up 40 feet through the air and leap long distances before landing

White-handed gibbons are among the fastest of all primates; they are so fast that they barely touch a branch before swinging off and grabbing the next branch, and they 'fly' up 40 feet through the air and leap long distances before landing

African penguins eat sardines and anchovies in the cool waters off South Africa; unfortunately, overfishing and rising ocean temperatures are making fish harder to come by for the endangered penguin

African penguins eat sardines and anchovies in the cool waters off South Africa; unfortunately, overfishing and rising ocean temperatures are making fish harder to come by for the endangered penguin

Cheetahs can run up to 70 mph to capture their prey but need about 30 minutes to catch their breath before eating; they have larger-than-usual nostrils to increase oxygen flow, and their large lungs and heart circulate blood very efficiently

Cheetahs can run up to 70 mph to capture their prey but need about 30 minutes to catch their breath before eating; they have larger-than-usual nostrils to increase oxygen flow, and their large lungs and heart circulate blood very efficiently

The threatened rhinoceros hornbill is native to SE Asia and is Malaysia's national bird; the birds are frequently shot by poachers due to confusion with the highly sought-after helmeted hornbill and their native habitats are being rapidly destroyed

The threatened rhinoceros hornbill is native to SE Asia and is Malaysia's national bird; the birds are frequently shot by poachers due to confusion with the highly sought-after helmeted hornbill and their native habitats are being rapidly destroyed

The North American river otter has a third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, which protects the eye and allows the otter to see when swimming underwater; the river otter's eyes and ears are located high on its head for surface swimming

The North American river otter has a third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, which protects the eye and allows the otter to see when swimming underwater; the river otter's eyes and ears are located high on its head for surface swimming

The bald eagle, once down to fewer than 500 pairs in the wild, is no longer on the brink of extinction thanks to the banning of toxic pesticides like DDT, protection under the Endangered Species Act, and reintroduction of eagles born in zoos

The bald eagle, once down to fewer than 500 pairs in the wild, is no longer on the brink of extinction thanks to the banning of toxic pesticides like DDT, protection under the Endangered Species Act, and reintroduction of eagles born in zoos

The word 'hippopatmus' come from a Greek word that means 'river horse;' even though its closest relative is a whale, not a horse; they may seem slow but hippos can run 18 mph on land which is faster than humans

The word 'hippopatmus' come from a Greek word that means 'river horse;' even though its closest relative is a whale, not a horse; they may seem slow but hippos can run 18 mph on land which is faster than humans

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:48 Comments (0)

Chattanooga's Hunter Museum of American Art Favorites, pt 2

The 2005 West Wing addition to the Hunter Museum was designed by Knoxville native Randall Stout; the sculpture in front of the entrance is a 2001 work from Tom Otterness, who often designs pieces based on social ills and injustice, entitled Free Money

The 2005 West Wing addition to the Hunter Museum was designed by Knoxville native Randall Stout; the sculpture in front of the entrance is a 2001 work from Tom Otterness, who often designs pieces based on social ills and injustice, entitled Free Money

Fundraiser, Duane Hanson, 1980; Hanson captures the 'worker bees' of everyday America, such as this depiction of his secretary; I'm a big fan and am so impressed with his ability to create totally lifelike images

Fundraiser, Duane Hanson, 1980; Hanson captures the 'worker bees' of everyday America, such as this depiction of his secretary; I'm a big fan and am so impressed with his ability to create totally lifelike images

An Out of Town Trolley, Francis Luis Mora, 1916; at the age of fifteen Uruguayan-born Mora enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he studied under the American Impressionists Edmund Charles Tarbell and Frank Weston Benson

An Out of Town Trolley, Francis Luis Mora, 1916; at the age of fifteen Uruguayan-born Mora enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he studied under the American Impressionists Edmund Charles Tarbell and Frank Weston Benson

Apprentice, William Merritt Chase, 1875; Chase painted a series of works in 1875 featuring young, working-class boys - a stark contrast to his society portraits and bright paintings of the upper class

Apprentice, William Merritt Chase, 1875; Chase painted a series of works in 1875 featuring young, working-class boys - a stark contrast to his society portraits and bright paintings of the upper class

French Tea Garden, Childe Hassam, 1910; Hassam learned about Impressionism when he studied in Paris in the mid-1880s; he painted this peaceful work, thought to be his wife, when he returned to Paris although he complained about the city's dirt and noise

French Tea Garden, Childe Hassam, 1910; Hassam learned about Impressionism when he studied in Paris in the mid-1880s; he painted this peaceful work, thought to be his wife, when he returned to Paris although he complained about the city's dirt and noise

Nature's Bounty, Severin Roesen, ca. 1852-54; this opulent still life reflected the optimism and taste prevalent before the Civil War; the title of the work mirrors the conviction that nature would provide amply for our needs and that none will go wanting

Nature's Bounty, Severin Roesen, ca. 1852-54; this opulent still life reflected the optimism and taste prevalent before the Civil War; the title of the work mirrors the conviction that nature would provide amply for our needs and that none will go wanting

Flowers, Bread, Chalice and Sticks, Beth Lipman, 2012; the artist uses the heavily laid table, with items made from blown, sculpted and cast glass, as a contemporary metaphor for modern consumerism and overconsumption

Flowers, Bread, Chalice and Sticks, Beth Lipman, 2012; the artist uses the heavily laid table, with items made from blown, sculpted and cast glass, as a contemporary metaphor for modern consumerism and overconsumption

House on the Cape, Edward Hopper, 1940; famous people from Chattanooga include Olan Mills, George Gobel, Leslie Alan Jordan, Gibby Gilbert, Lee Hamilton, Reggie White, Howard Baker, Archie Campbell, Betty Lou Gerson and Dennis Haskins

House on the Cape, Edward Hopper, 1940; famous people from Chattanooga include Olan Mills, George Gobel, Leslie Alan Jordan, Gibby Gilbert, Lee Hamilton, Reggie White, Howard Baker, Archie Campbell, Betty Lou Gerson and Dennis Haskins

Spring, John La Farge, ca. 1896; this window was originally installed in the dining room of the George Foster Peabody home in Lake George, NY; Adolph Ochs, publisher of the Chattanooga Times, purchased Peabody's home early in the 20th century

Spring, John La Farge, ca. 1896; this window was originally installed in the dining room of the George Foster Peabody home in Lake George, NY; Adolph Ochs, publisher of the Chattanooga Times, purchased Peabody's home early in the 20th century

Changing Tide, Concetta Mason, 1995; the world's first Coca-Cola bottling company was begun in 1899 in Chattanooga by Benjamin Thomas; George Thomas Hunter was Thomas's nephew and inherited his stake in the company

Changing Tide, Concetta Mason, 1995; the world's first Coca-Cola bottling company was begun in 1899 in Chattanooga by Benjamin Thomas; George Thomas Hunter was Thomas's nephew and inherited his stake in the company

Plaster Plant, Houston, Texas, Paul Sample, ca. 1937; the Hunter Museum of American Art is the centerpiece for Chattanooga's Bluff View Art District; the bluffs, once lined with Confederate batteries, overlook the Tennessee River

Plaster Plant, Houston, Texas, Paul Sample, ca. 1937; the Hunter Museum of American Art is the centerpiece for Chattanooga's Bluff View Art District; the bluffs, once lined with Confederate batteries, overlook the Tennessee River

The Wreck of the Ole '97, Thomas Hart Benton, 1943; this painting is based on a real incident, a devastating train wreck in VA in 1903 that claimed 13 lives; widely reported in newspapers, it inspired many anonymous ballads

The Wreck of the Ole '97, Thomas Hart Benton, 1943; this painting is based on a real incident, a devastating train wreck in VA in 1903 that claimed 13 lives; widely reported in newspapers, it inspired many anonymous ballads

The Janitor, George Biddle, 1937; Biddle was a friend of FDR, and is supposed to have suggested the idea of the Federal Art Project (later part of the Works Progress Administration) to him

The Janitor, George Biddle, 1937; Biddle was a friend of FDR, and is supposed to have suggested the idea of the Federal Art Project (later part of the Works Progress Administration) to him

Zany Actors, Dan Dailey, 1999; Dailey blends glass blowing with metalworking in his whimsical, figurative pieces; he's known for his unusually shaped vessels with two figures balancing on the edges

Zany Actors, Dan Dailey, 1999; Dailey blends glass blowing with metalworking in his whimsical, figurative pieces; he's known for his unusually shaped vessels with two figures balancing on the edges

Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery, Karen LaMonte, 2006; I loved the symmetrical staircases in the Hunter Mansion; Chattanooga is 61% White, 30% Black and 7% Hispanic and, unlike many cities, has seen its white population increase in recent decades

Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery, Karen LaMonte, 2006; I loved the symmetrical staircases in the Hunter Mansion; Chattanooga is 61% White, 30% Black and 7% Hispanic and, unlike many cities, has seen its white population increase in recent decades

Harrington Hotel, Al Beyer, ca. 1976; Beyer is known for painting storefront windows; his works explore the interplay between the view inside the store and reflections outside that captured cars and life on the street in the 1970s

Harrington Hotel, Al Beyer, ca. 1976; Beyer is known for painting storefront windows; his works explore the interplay between the view inside the store and reflections outside that captured cars and life on the street in the 1970s

Crystal Basket with Tall Handles, Beverly Semmes, 2008; Chattanooga and Chickamauga Military Park was the first and is the largest national military park; Chattanooga Bakery was founded in the early 1900s and they invented the famous MoonPie in 1917

Crystal Basket with Tall Handles, Beverly Semmes, 2008; Chattanooga and Chickamauga Military Park was the first and is the largest national military park; Chattanooga Bakery was founded in the early 1900s and they invented the famous MoonPie in 1917

Sunset Intersection, Robert Bechtle, 1984; one of the founders of photorealism, Bechtle captured the essence of the American experience in his oil paintings depicting San Francisco neighborhoods, suburban landscapes and Californian urban life

Sunset Intersection, Robert Bechtle, 1984; one of the founders of photorealism, Bechtle captured the essence of the American experience in his oil paintings depicting San Francisco neighborhoods, suburban landscapes and Californian urban life

Cobalt Turquoise Seafoam Set with Carmine Lip Wrap, Dale Chihuly, 1986; Chattanooga benefits from a central location in the SE: 118 miles NW of Atlanta, 112 miles SW of Knoxville, 134 miles SE of Nashville, and 147 miles NE of Birmingham

Cobalt Turquoise Seafoam Set with Carmine Lip Wrap, Dale Chihuly, 1986; Chattanooga benefits from a central location in the SE: 118 miles NW of Atlanta, 112 miles SW of Knoxville, 134 miles SE of Nashville, and 147 miles NE of Birmingham

Solid Comfort, John George Brown, ca. 1881; Brown was popular among upper-class patrons for his romanticized depictions of the lower-class; he relied on his own impoverished upcoming to create realistic images of immigrants and the working class

Solid Comfort, John George Brown, ca. 1881; Brown was popular among upper-class patrons for his romanticized depictions of the lower-class; he relied on his own impoverished upcoming to create realistic images of immigrants and the working class

Ruth Gleaning, Randolph Rogers, 1851; this sculpture was displayed at Mamma Leone's restaurant in NYC (I can remember my family going there when I was a kid); this work refers to the biblical story of Ruth who conveys abiding loyalty and family devotion

Ruth Gleaning, Randolph Rogers, 1851; this sculpture was displayed at Mamma Leone's restaurant in NYC (I can remember my family going there when I was a kid); this work refers to the biblical story of Ruth who conveys abiding loyalty and family devotion

Orange Lamp and Oranges, Janet Fish, 1982; for someone with orange as his favorite color, this was a natural selection for me; this artist takes the still life and applies the vigorous brushstrokes of abstract expressionism to create a unique perspective

Orange Lamp and Oranges, Janet Fish, 1982; for someone with orange as his favorite color, this was a natural selection for me; this artist takes the still life and applies the vigorous brushstrokes of abstract expressionism to create a unique perspective

Still Life with Ginger Jar, William Michael Harnett, 1876; Harnett made his realistic still lifes to appeal to a new type of viewer - the self-made, urban, middle class male; his works were found in bars, hotel lobbies, business offices and personal libraries

Still Life with Ginger Jar, William Michael Harnett, 1876; Harnett made his realistic still lifes to appeal to a new type of viewer - the self-made, urban, middle class male; his works were found in bars, hotel lobbies, business offices and personal libraries

Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain, James Hope, 1878; as a strong regional museum, I expected the Hunter to have more works by TN artists but the collection was more national in focus but with excellent pieces, especially for a city of this size

Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain, James Hope, 1878; as a strong regional museum, I expected the Hunter to have more works by TN artists but the collection was more national in focus but with excellent pieces, especially for a city of this size

Moma Grace, Charlie Newton, 1988; this is a work by one of the few Chattanooga-based artists displayed; Newton focuses on the lost culture of African-Americans paying special attention to the strong and heroic women who were taken for granted for so long

Moma Grace, Charlie Newton, 1988; this is a work by one of the few Chattanooga-based artists displayed; Newton focuses on the lost culture of African-Americans paying special attention to the strong and heroic women who were taken for granted for so long

Subway - 14th Street, Reginald Marsh, 1930; an avid people watcher, Marsh sought to convey the 'energy and rush and confusion of American life' found in spaces in which sexes, social classes and ethnicities increasingly mixed

Subway - 14th Street, Reginald Marsh, 1930; an avid people watcher, Marsh sought to convey the 'energy and rush and confusion of American life' found in spaces in which sexes, social classes and ethnicities increasingly mixed

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:58 Comments (0)

More highlights from exhausting week in San Francisco, pt 1

210-ft Coit Tower (1933), offers panoramic views over the city and bay from atop Telegraph Hill; Lillie Coit was a wealthy socialite (and funded the Tower) who smoked cigars and wore trousers long before it was socially acceptable

210-ft Coit Tower (1933), offers panoramic views over the city and bay from atop Telegraph Hill; Lillie Coit was a wealthy socialite (and funded the Tower) who smoked cigars and wore trousers long before it was socially acceptable

The Beaux-Arts SF City Hall (1916)  has a dome 42 ft taller than that of the US Capitol; Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married here in January 1954 and Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated here in November 1978

The Beaux-Arts SF City Hall (1916) has a dome 42 ft taller than that of the US Capitol; Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married here in January 1954 and Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated here in November 1978

The original rainbow flag (1978) was displayed at the small GLBT Historical Society Museum; San Francisco has the highest estimated percentage of gay and lesbian individuals of any of the 50 largest U.S. cities, at 15%

The original rainbow flag (1978) was displayed at the small GLBT Historical Society Museum; San Francisco has the highest estimated percentage of gay and lesbian individuals of any of the 50 largest U.S. cities, at 15%

Lombard Street is a popular tourist attraction but Filbert St. between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets is the steepest—31.5 degrees; among major cities, San Francisco has the second-highest percentage of residents with a college degree, behind only Seattle

Lombard Street is a popular tourist attraction but Filbert St. between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets is the steepest—31.5 degrees; among major cities, San Francisco has the second-highest percentage of residents with a college degree, behind only Seattle

After a section collapsed in the 1989 earthquake, the Eastern span replacement of the Bay Bridge was the most expensive public works project in California history ($6.5 billion) and is the world's widest bridge according to Guinness World Records

After a section collapsed in the 1989 earthquake, the Eastern span replacement of the Bay Bridge was the most expensive public works project in California history ($6.5 billion) and is the world's widest bridge according to Guinness World Records

Famous people from SF include Scott Adams, OJ Simpson, Robert Frost, Ansel Adams, Steve Jobs, Bruce Lee, Mel Blanc, Jerry Garcia, Clint Eastwood, Monica Lewinsky, Stephen Breyer, Dian Fossey, Jack London and Tucker Carlson

Famous people from SF include Scott Adams, OJ Simpson, Robert Frost, Ansel Adams, Steve Jobs, Bruce Lee, Mel Blanc, Jerry Garcia, Clint Eastwood, Monica Lewinsky, Stephen Breyer, Dian Fossey, Jack London and Tucker Carlson

The San Francisco skyline has dramatically changed since this photo from Alamo Square with the Painted Ladies in 1985; as of 2019, 52.1% of San Francisco residents were born outside of the country

The San Francisco skyline has dramatically changed since this photo from Alamo Square with the Painted Ladies in 1985; as of 2019, 52.1% of San Francisco residents were born outside of the country

The city lies near the San Andreas Fault which was responsible for both the 1906 and 1989 quakes; tourism contributes significantly to the local economy ($10  billion) with 26  million visitors in 2019

The city lies near the San Andreas Fault which was responsible for both the 1906 and 1989 quakes; tourism contributes significantly to the local economy ($10+ billion) with 26+ million visitors in 2019

This mural, City Life (1933), is by Victor Arnautoff who was supervisor of the mural project at Coit Tower; the murals formed the pilot project of the Public Works of Art Project, the first of the New Deal federal employment programs for artists

This mural, City Life (1933), is by Victor Arnautoff who was supervisor of the mural project at Coit Tower; the murals formed the pilot project of the Public Works of Art Project, the first of the New Deal federal employment programs for artists

The 1996 St. Mary's Cathedral is the mother church of the Catholic faithful in the Bay Area; among major cities, SF has the highest median household income at almost $125,000

The 1996 St. Mary's Cathedral is the mother church of the Catholic faithful in the Bay Area; among major cities, SF has the highest median household income at almost $125,000

The first San Francisco cable car line serviced Clay Street starting September 1, 1873; before the 1906 earthquake the city had 600  cable cars in operation but with the rebuilding much of the transit system was converted to newer streetcars

The first San Francisco cable car line serviced Clay Street starting September 1, 1873; before the 1906 earthquake the city had 600+ cable cars in operation but with the rebuilding much of the transit system was converted to newer streetcars

In the mid to late 1800s, most of the Italian immigrant fishermen settled in the North Beach area and fished for local delicacies like dungeness crab; Fisherman's Wharf has declined in popularity in recent decades

In the mid to late 1800s, most of the Italian immigrant fishermen settled in the North Beach area and fished for local delicacies like dungeness crab; Fisherman's Wharf has declined in popularity in recent decades

After the 1906 earthquake, Del Monte Foods rebuilt their fruit and vegetable processing facilities into Plant No. 1 which at the time was the world’s largest cannery; today, The Cannery consists of 30  shops and restaurants

After the 1906 earthquake, Del Monte Foods rebuilt their fruit and vegetable processing facilities into Plant No. 1 which at the time was the world’s largest cannery; today, The Cannery consists of 30+ shops and restaurants

Sea lions first starting appearing at Pier 39 in September 1989; each winter, the population can increase up to 900, most of whom are male; during the summer months, the sea lions migrate south to the Channel Islands for breeding season

Sea lions first starting appearing at Pier 39 in September 1989; each winter, the population can increase up to 900, most of whom are male; during the summer months, the sea lions migrate south to the Channel Islands for breeding season

Pier 39 is a very kid-friendly attraction along the Embarcadero between Pier 33 (Alcatraz ferry) and Fisherman's Wharf; the Pier features a 2-story carousel, Aquarium of the Bay, street performances, lots of shops and eateries plus the lovable sea lions

Pier 39 is a very kid-friendly attraction along the Embarcadero between Pier 33 (Alcatraz ferry) and Fisherman's Wharf; the Pier features a 2-story carousel, Aquarium of the Bay, street performances, lots of shops and eateries plus the lovable sea lions

Posted by VagabondCowboy 02:30 Comments (0)

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